On the 31st January we held an Altona open garden tour, which was fantastic. Five of our members - Dy and Kerrie, Adeline, Peter, Shotaro and Mara welcomed visitors to their home for a talk and tour. The principles of permaculture were explained and we saw how and why it works for productive gardening that requires less maintenance.
We discussed feeding and mulching as well as new techniques such as straw bale gardening which is great for people with poor soil. Basically straw bales are treated with nitrogen and water for about 2 weeks so they get conditioned for planting. Then you can plant anywhere in the bale and anything grows as the decomposing straw feeds the plants. At the end of the season everything can be put into the compost pile.
We saw an aquaponics system in action: it is an innovative approach to growing plants and fish in one integrated system. The fish waste is used as an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water that the fish live in. Genius!
We also got to see propagating areas and got great tips on planting and seed raising. Different compost methods were discussed and we met two gorgeous and friendly ducks, some chooks and quails as well as guinea pigs.
We had a barbecue at our third stop and got to pick and eat tomatoes, cucumbers and other fresh vegies. The day ended with home brewed ginger beer and sweets. A great time was had by all but don’t despair if you missed out, we plan to do this again...
Dy and Kerrie’s amazing gardens
Dy explaining the use of in ground compost buckets/worm farms
Adeline’s front yard with no dig garden beds and lots of fruit and vegies
Shotaro’s very productive patch
Mara’s permaculture paradise
Pete's aquaponics system
Pete's side yard full of productive fruit trees and veggies